For four years I have been working with my team at the United States Justice Foundation, www.usjf.net representing America’s heroes, our military veterans who are being denied their constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment to due process, and under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. Veterans receive letters telling them that because of physical or mental disabilities the VA is going to declare them incompetent to handle their own financial affairs and prohibited from owning firearms.
The burden of proving that they are competent is placed on the veterans in clear violation of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Veterans are being declared incompetent because of minor PTSD, minor depression, and even because they let their spouses pay the family bills, or because they have their bills paid automatically out of their bank accounts.
Once they are declared incompetent they are automatically put on the FBI NICS list of people who cannot legally purchase firearms in the United States because they are mentally defective to the point of being a danger to themselves or others. In most cases this is being done without any evaluation of the veteran being done by a psychiatrist, a psychologist or even a doctor.
In most cases the determination of incompetence is made by some low level bureaucrat in the VA or even by untrained and unsupervised independent contractors. When we first broke this story I immediately had the USJF file a Freedom of Information Act request with the VA to get information on how and why the VA was doing this. Our request was denied so we filed suit in Federal court and won. Among the documents provided by the VA as a result of the court order was a memorandum agreement between the VA and the FBI that stated that any names of veterans declared incompetent would be automatically added to the NICS list despite the fact that no adjudication of mental incompetence had occurred, as required by federal law.
There are now over 200,000 American veterans illegally on the NICS list, and more going on it every day. At the USJF we are representing veterans on an individual basis helping them refute the claims of the VA and file appeals when necessary. We have been successful in some cases including one recently in Texas where we assisted a veteran who had been declared incompetent due to a written declaration by the VA that he was incompetent because he had his bank pay his bills automatically each month.
Unfortunately, even though he won his appeal, there have been new developments we are having to deal with. Even after veterans win their appeals and have the VA reverse the incompetency ruling the FBI is refusing to remove the veterans from the NICS list, forcing them to file a lawsuit to restore the Constitutional rights that were illegally denied to them in the first place.
There have also been even more disturbing recent developments. For example, we always assist the veterans we represent in raising the Constitutional issues such as denial of their Second Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights. Apparently, the VA has decided that such a defense is unacceptable, and has told one of our clients that these are not valid issues to raise on appeal. The VA also told the same client that they would not allow the USJF to represent him.
This is unprecedented because it says that the VA will not allow veterans to choose the attorneys of their choice. I believe it is clear that the VA knows that we represent veterans and their families at no charge, so they want to force the veterans to act on their own or hire private attorneys that most veterans cannot afford.
In 1933 when Adolph Hitler became Chancellor of Germany he moved immediately to consolidate his power as a dictator. His first move was to totally nationalize the German health care system because he believed that if he could control access to health care he could control the German people. Does that sound familiar? His next step was to disarm the German people, beginning with the military veterans who had sworn an oath to protect their country, not an individual who wanted to be a dictator. Once he disarmed the veterans he moved to disarm the rest of the German population. He succeeded and the result was World War II
The VA is accelerating its disarming of veterans so that ultimately Americans will not be able to defend their homes, families, and country against tyranny. At the USJF we will continue to fight for our heroes with your support. If you are a veteran that has received such a letter from the VA please contact me so we can help you.